Specific Learning Disability (SLD) is a permanent disorder caused by neurological impairments that interfere with acquiring, integrating and demonstrating verbal and non-verbal abilities. As a result, students with SLD are poor communicators and have difficulties interacting with others.
For a child to be diagnosed with SLD, the child has to function two grades below his/her age-appropriate grade in reading, writing, arithmetic, or mixed abilities. The child may also exhibit psychological signs due to the disability such as quitting, avoiding, clowning, controlling and denying all.
Priya is a typical example of a student with SLD. She had difficulty understanding the order, sounds, and recognition of letters and hence affected her learning. And because of her learning difficulty, she felt very frustrated at school.
In order to help students with SLD such as Priya, inclusive teaching techniques can be used. Inclusive teaching can start with the school and teachers providing a warm educational climate to mitigate her frustration at learning. This can be achieved by:
- Providing a friendly, rewarding and supportive atmosphere
- Supporting active learning with the cooperation
- Forbidding physical punishment and violence
- Valuing the development of creative activities
- Enhancing family-school partnership
- Promoting equal opportunities and participation for all children
Another inclusive teaching technique is to avoid the use of the term 'learning disabilities’ as it is misleading. The more politically-correct term is ‘learning differences’. It offers a more accurate snapshot that captures the essence of learning disabilities seen in SLD students compared to other students without learning disabilities.
Lastly, inclusive teaching places a lot of emphasis on respecting the privacy and confidentiality of all students and be sensitive about not embarrassing or humiliating them if they have learning differences. ALWAYS BELIEVE IN THE STUDENTS – do not give up.
Every child is special and talented. The same goes for children with special needs. With proper intervention and support, they can integrate well into society. To help them receive the required support in the long run, CaregiverAsia has launched the Extraordinary Care Program that ensures continued long-term therapy for children with integrated therapy service providers and medical escorting service with a trained caregiver, in the unfortunate event that their parents or guardians are no longer able to care for them. Do you know of a friend caring for a special needs child? Find out more about the Extraordinary Care Program below to understand how it can benefit them!
Written by: Dr. Sritama Mitra Ghosh as Published in Eblity.
About the author: Dr. Sritama Mitra Ghosh is a School Psychologist and Certified Psychiatric Counsellor. She is currently serving as Assistant Psychology Teacher at H.M. Education Centre, Hooghly (C.B.S.E). She has worked as a guest lecturer at Bijoy Krishna Girls' College in the Psychology department and has over fifteen years of teaching experience and seven years of experience as a counselor.